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Baylor University football players suspended over sexual assault allegations

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The Baylor University football team played Texas Tech in November at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Three Baylor University football players were suspended for allegedly sexually assaulting women shortly after that loss. (Image source: YouTube screenshot)

Three Baylor University football players were suspended for allegedly sexually assaulting women shortly after their loss to Texas Tech in November, KDFW-TV reported.

A heavily redacted police report offers few details on what the victims and witnesses said happened, according to the report. Reports of the investigation surfaced Wednesday, four months after the attacks allegedly happened, KDFW reported.

The players have been suspended until the investigation is completed.

What did the coach say?

A total of four players have been suspended, and three of them were accused of sexual assault, Baylor football coach Matt Rhule told reporters Wednesday. Rhule said the players were suspended in November, immediately after Baylor police took the report.

“This isn't a Baylor thing,” Rhule said. “This is an ‘our world’ thing.”

Baylor is a private Baptist university in Waco, Texas, with a student enrollment of about 16,000.

The accusers told police they were raped at the University Parks Apartments in Waco on Nov.12. ESPN reported that the women are members of the university’s equestrian team.

Rhule says he has met with Baylor police about the case but is not familiar with all of the details. The suspensions were meted out by a committee at Baylor that met with the players.

“I don't know much about the case,” Rhule reportedly said. “And I think that's really a good thing because I probably shouldn't really know much about it because I'm the football coach.”

In a statement, Baylor President Linda Livingstone said, "Baylor University takes any allegation of sexual assault seriously. The University's new leadership team is unwavering in our commitment to follow our well-documented Title IX policy and procedures in regards to reporting and responding to incidents of sexual assault."

What about a criminal investigation?

No criminal charges have been filed, and a grand jury has not heard the information, the report stated. Names of the four suspended players were released, but the coach did not specify which players were suspended over the sexual assault allegations.

A sexual assault scandal at Baylor in 2016 led to the firing of former coach Art Briles, along with the resignation of President Ken Starr, according to the report. More than 20 lawsuits were filed and one of them alleged 52 rapes in four years by football players.

An internal investigation by law firm Pepper Hamilton determined the football program operated as though it was “above the rules," and coaches and staff allegedly interfered when allegations of sexual assault were made.

Rhule said that has changed.

“There's bad culture when kids do things and grownups hide them,” he said. “And nobody's hiding anything here. And so that's why I know that we're doing things right.”

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